Word to the Wise(?)

Dear President Obama:

I’m taking the liberty of contacting you with respect to your recent mispronunciation of the term “corpsman” in your state-of-the-union address, preferring instead to use the perfectly justifiable, phonetic “corpse-man” version, as any well-educated third-grader would also prefer. I’m sure you knew what you were doing and had a purpose for that particular pronunciation (English can be bothersome at times!), but on the very slight chance you simply goofed I’m offering you the services of the Institute for Modifying All Government Entities, known around Washington as simply IMAGE, of which I’m the CEO.

IMAGE has a record of serving elected officials for many years in many ways, helping them to reconfigure their various personae into ones that are more attractive and, more importantly, more believable. Former president Bush was offered IMAGE’s services when he mispronounced the term “nuclear” on a regular basis, but he declined, simply explaining that he did so on purpose because it made the pundits on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC (collective propaganda arm of the Democrat Party) froth at the mouth on camera when commenting on his speeches, to which they rarely listened, actually. He performed his “Texas swagger” for the same reason, though he regretted that Vladimir Putin threw his hip out of joint trying to imitate it, although to his knowledge neither his speech nor swagger ever made MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ leg tingle.

The IMAGE bureau that would help you is named the Conference On Reconfiguring Presidential Semantic Errors, or CORPSE, for short. CORPSE would fashion for you a perfectly valid reason for your phonetic approach to speech, noting the history behind the nation’s halcyon days of top-flight education, when phonetics was important in teaching grade-schoolers how to both read and speak. A product of a later time, you could simply say that you made a sacrifice word-wise so that school pooh-bahs would get the message. Or, you could say that in your grade-school days in Indonesia you were not required to understand navy verbiage, and that in your high school days in Hawaii the term “corpse” was used on signs at beaches to warn surfers about the sharks; consequently, you felt the need to repeat that warning as a public service…maybe even referring to those nasty, insensitive republicans (little joke there).

Since your use of the term “corpse-man” involved one basic part of speech – the noun – the arm of IMAGE known as the Management of Adjectives and Nouns, obviously known simply as MAN, could help you or perhaps your speech-writers, since you used the noun “corpse” as an adjective to modify another noun, “man.” This is a no-no, as any fourth-grader would tell you. Applying MAN to the overall program would give you the tandem of CORPSE-MAN, in other words a feature to help you reconfigure your use of adjectives and nouns so that those vultures at Fox News would stop lampooning your teleprompters, not to mention most fourth-graders.

I’m sure you understand that the term “corpse-man” was gender-discriminatory, most likely because the ladies at the National Organization of Women have probably already been on your case. The rumor is that the NOW head honcho actually sent Rahm Emanuel a dead fish, blaming him for your teleprompter’s miscue, though she had to apologize to PETA and SPCA for such an insensitive fish-treatment.

One of our latest clients is Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, who also called attention to this rather obvious but just as obviously avoidable gaff by Emanuel or whoever handles the teleprompter operation, maybe Robert Gibbs, whom IMAGE has taught the proper use of the term “uh,” which I’m sure you notice he uses often. Ms. Napolitano reminded me that she introduced the term “man-caused disaster” to be used instead of terrorism, thus shifting all blame for mankind’s ills onto men, where it belongs.

As a result, IMAGE has put into operation a new department known as the Watchdog Overseeing Masculine Authority Nullification, or WOMAN, by its acronym. WOMAN will help you to avoid all references in your speeches that smack of gender-insensitivity or anti-diversity or homophobia or lack of appreciation for multiculturalism and cat-lovers. It would have prevented you last year, for instance, from characterizing Boston policemen as acting stupidly and being forced to bring that white cop down for a beer out in the garden. SCOTUS associate justice Sotomayor tried the same deal as Napolitano when she ruled that black firefighters should be promoted because of who they are, not what they know. That backfired in the SCOTUS, of course, so we have to be careful as to how far we can go with male nullification (little disclaimer there).

In any case, you can see how IMAGE can help you through the use of both CORPSE-MAN and CORPSE-WOMAN. It will help your teleprompter crew (phonetic pronunciations also available) or even yourself, assuming you may write your own remarks at times, to avoid the pitfalls associated with public comments. I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest regards,
I.M. Otherself, CEO
IMAGE